Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

Apr 192011

Socializing only children involves different strategies than parenting two or more kids. These tips for parents of “onlies” will help you avoid the stereotype of selfish, badly behaved only children.

Proactive parenting can socialize only children so they receive the same benefits as kids with siblings — which is what these tips are all about.

Before the tips, a quip:

“You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for instance.” ~ Franklin P. Jones.

If you’re running out of strategies for successful parenting and socializing only children, read Parenting an Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only.

And check out these tips for parents of onlies…

Socializing Only Children – 5 Tips for Parents of Onlies

How many times have you seen parents with their only children, and wondered who’s running the show? Onlies don’t have to negotiate the needs of siblings or share their toys, but if they are to get along with other children and people, they need to learn those skills.

Implement rules about behavior

Start teaching your kids to share when they are little by dividing up blocks or other toys when you are playing with them. Play games with them, and be firm about taking turns. Model the behavior you want to see in your child by negotiating with your partner on which family activity to do on the weekend, or who gets the last piece of chocolate in the box. Your only child will soon get the idea and will be able to use those skills when playing with other children.

Avoid the “lonely only” trap

A child doesn’t have to be lonely just because he’s an only. It may sound like the title of a bad country song, but it’s still true. The best way for parents of onlies to learn how to interact with children (most onlies are fine interacting with adults) is to have kids to play with. If your child has cousins, invite them over to play regularly. Perhaps there are kids in the neighbourhood who could become friends. Arrange play dates with your friends’ children so that your only child soon has a network of friends. It’s like “renting” a sibling or two – and the process will help to socialize your child like nothing else will.

Get your only child involved in sports and games

Sports and games are great for teaching your only child other useful socialization skills. Playing team sports helps only children learn to work with a team toward a common goal, and to accept the results with grace (whether they won or lost!). Playing individual sports (but still as part of a team) can increase self-discipline. And of course, involvement in sports can help only children remain physically fit and learn how to lead without dominating.

Test your onlies’ skills

Once you have begun to teach your only child the social skills she needs, give her a chance to model them. Host a party and give your only child some responsibility, such as serving snacks or checking that guests have drinks. Your only child will welcome the responsibility and the chance to demonstrate well rounded social behaviour – and you’ll be proud of your success in socializing your only.

If you’ve recently moved, your only child may find How to Find New Friends After Moving to a New City helpful.

If you have any thoughts or questions about these tips for socializing only children, please comment below…

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional web content writer and blogger. She runs Get Paid to Write Online, which offers tips and advice for freelance writers. Follow her on Twitter:@shurleyhall. You can see Sharon’s other Quips and Tips posts here.

Mar 072011

When someone dies, you may feel overwhelmed with grief and loss. Here are a few ideas to help you know what to do when someone dies, including tips for funeral planning. If you know about the process, you’ll better know what to say and how to help when someone dies.

What to Do When Someone Dies

If you need help planning a funeral, you may find What to Do When Someone Dies helpful. Coping with a loved one’s death can make you feel overwhelmed and lost; a book like Nicci French’s can help you cope.

You may also feel overwhelmed and stressed. While the last thing on your mind is planning a funeral, this is something that you have to do. There is no way I can tell you everything you need to do when someone dies in this article, which is why I encourage you to get a book about coping with everything from funeral arrangements to grieving the loss of someone you love.

4 Tips for When Someone Dies

This is a guest post by Shirley Hurley Hall.

Learn your options for dealing with the remains

When planning a funeral, there are many options for dealing with the remains including donating the body to medical science, direct cremation without a service, direct burial, and burial or cremation with a service. One of the first things you do when someone dies is to choose a funeral director, discuss the options and make arrangements for the collection of the remains. Every option comes with an often hefty price tag, so it’s worth doing some independent research before you make the final decision. You will need to obtain a death certificate, a burial permit (if needed) and, if you have chosen cremation, to decide what to do with the ashes after the funeral.

If you are caring for someone who has not died yet, read 12 Gift Ideas for Someone Who is Dying.

Plan the viewing of your loved one

Before the start of the funeral service, people may want to view the loved one in order to say their personal goodbyes. This can either take place at home or, more commonly, at the funeral home, church or the location of the memorial service.  This step of funeral planning involves the funeral director, who will discuss appropriate clothing and viewing times with you and the next step is to let people know where and when this will take place.

Decide on notices and memorials when someone dies

One thing to do when someone dies is to notify the appropriate people. One way to make sure that everyone knows about the funeral is to put a notice in the local newspaper. This will usually include the person’s name, date of birth, date of death, location of the memorial service and any pertinent information about the funeral. You may also want to arrange an obituary to run before or after the funeral service.

When planning a funeral service, think about what to do about flowers. While they can be a lovely tribute, more and more people opt to donate them to a suitable place after the service (such as an elder care home, hospice or children’s home). Another popular option is to dispense with flowers and to ask people to make a charitable donation in the deceased name.

Plan the memorial or funeral service

What to Do When Someone Dies

What to Do When Someone Dies

You will also need to think about the mechanics of the funeral service itself. This includes which hymns or songs will be sung, or whether there will be tributes by family members and friends and what music will be played. All of this will be included in the order of service which you can arrange yourself or with the help of the funeral director or pastor.  As part of the service itself, many people include a memorial book in which people can write their tributes.

The last thing you need to consider is whether there will be a wake or reception after the service and where this will take place. This will be the final touch in planning a funeral for your loved one.

You may be interested in reading How to Help Your Boyfriend Cope With Death, if you are supporting someone who has recently lost a loved one.

If you have any thoughts on death or funerals, please comment below. I can’t offer advice on what to do when someone dies, but it may help you to share your experience.

“The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive – perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin.

About the author of this article: Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional web content writer and blogger.